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MLS 101: New York Red Bulls Edition

The New York Red Bulls, or NYRB as I call them, are a founding member of MLS, but like the Colorado Rapids, you wouldn’t know it by looking at their empty trophy case. In fact, until they reached the 2008 MLS Cup Final, they had only made it past the quarterfinals once in their 14 year history. They are perpetual underachievers.

The squad was known as the Metrostars until 2006 when the caffeine-dispensing conglomerate gave them wings and made them the Red Bulls. Prior to the rebranding, they fielded some great players, like Tab Ramos, Michael Bradley, Roberto Donadi, Tony Meola, Lothar Matthaus, Eddie Pope, Amado Guevara, and Tim Howard. But none of those gents could help them win it all.

The loss of Jozy Altidore could have derailed them last year, but Juan Pablo Angel ensured the team would not give up the fight. The current squad has one of the best MLS coaches around in Juan Carlos Osorio and he has drastically improved the team’s chances of winning those elusive titles. Only time will tell if he can get them over the hump.

They will soon depart from Giants Stadium as their new Red Bull Arena is almost complete. Once opened, the new stadium will be filled with the club’s notoriously rowdy supporters who often sing “Stand By Me” as an unofficial anthem. Those fans have been standing by the Red Bulls through years of mediocrity, and they are hoping the 2008 playoff run was the beginning of a new era.

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